Collapsed buildings and debris in Van, Turkey due to an earthquake

Thousands killed in major earthquake on the Turkey-Syria border

Thousands of people were killed and thousand more injured by a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck early this morning with its epicenter in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, Turkish authorities reported.

The provisional balance sheet, offered by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay this morning, counted 1,710 collapsed buildings in ten provinces of southeastern Anatolia, with Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras provinces being the most severely affected.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the earthquake had its epicenter about 33 kilometers from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital, at a depth of 18 kilometers. The Syrian National Seismic Monitoring Center said Monday that the early morning earthquake with epicenter in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is the “strongest” recorded by Syrian systems in nearly three decades, the center’s director general, Raed Ahmed, told SANA, while recalling that Syria was already “historically” affected by earthquakes in southeastern Turkey. The source said that some aftershocks have already occurred and announced that more are expected in the coming days, although they will be “weaker”.

Search and rescue services are working to rescue those who may be found under the rubble of the many buildings that have fallen as a result of the earthquakes.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, AFAD, has reported that the quake had its epicenter in the town of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has announced that Turkish authorities have issued a grade 4 state of alarm, including a request for international assistance. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on his Twitter account, “We hope that we can overcome this catastrophe as soon as possible and with as little damage as possible.”

Turkey sits on major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes.

The earthquake has also affected other countries in the region, such as Lebanon and Iraq. The intense tremor activated the tsunami alert in Italy, but finally the wave that has reached the eastern coasts of Calabria, Puglia and Sicily has been about 15 centimeters, so the Civil Protection authorities of the country have revoked the alert, although they remain vigilant. In Turkey and Syria all efforts are focused on rescuing survivors.

UPDATE: Another 7.6 magnitude earthquake and a cascade of aftershocks shake the already devastated area of Turkey, with thousands of fatalities.

The Turkish region of Kahramanmaras was hit by two major earthquakes in less than 12 hours. In the early hours of the morning, the first major earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, occurred, and after hours in which minor aftershocks have been detected, after midday, the second major tremor, with a magnitude of 7.6, was recorded.

-Thailand News (TN)


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